Brian Kelly


After innumerable childhood adventures growing up in Naples, Florida, I earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Evolutionary Anthropology and Computer Science from Duke University.  I spent several field seasons facilitating paleoanthropological expeditions in southern Africa before my interests shifted away from animals that have been dead for the last million years toward those that are still alive, and I returned home to south Florida to work on a Florida panther prey camera trap study as part of the Everglades Restoration Project.  For some reason which made sense at the time, I then got inspired to get a “real job” and put  my computer science degree to work as a software engineer, working for a successful startup in Raleigh, North Carolina before the last of my office plants withered away and the call of the wild brought me back to Africa.  I spent another 6 years there as a trails guide and guiding instructor, specializing in dangerous game walking safaris, tracking, and specialist birdwatching safaris.


When wildlife issues back home in Florida started calling, I once again returned to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree under the direction of Drs. Karl Miller and Richard Chandler while working on the South Florida Deer Study.  Among many others, I am fascinated by topics in predator-prey ecology, the social and political dimensions of large carnivore conservation, and quantitative/technological solutions to wildlife population modelling.  My current research focuses on the factors influencing survival of adult white-tailed deer in the predator-rich Big Cypress Basin of south Florida.